Turkey’s 2023 elections, which will take place on the republic’s centennial, will be the most critical election in the history of Turkish democracy. You may disagree with that statement, recalling that past elections have been described the same way. You may add that commentators have talked about “historic” elections countless times since 2013.
Obviously, democracy requires political parties to change their views in order to find a middle ground. Temporarily suppressing one’s real views to unite around “negative politics” (opposing everything) is not a healthy attitude for the culture of democracy.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan created the framework for the 2023 elections by calling for a new and civilian constitution. The need for a civilian constitution dates back to the adoption of the 1982 Constitution, an embodiment of the authoritarianism of coup leaders, hence, the frequent discussions on constitutional reform over the last 39 years – and 19 constitutional amendments. Yet Turkey still has not managed to talk about its political problems at the constitutional level.
The balance of power between the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) People’s Alliance and the opposition Nation Alliance will have a defining impact on Turkish politics and Turkey’s 2023 elections. Since all parties are aware of that fact, both sides began to take certain steps shortly after the 2018 election. For the record, they follow similar game plans: They want to consolidate their respective alliances and chip away at the opposing bloc.
Turkey’s party politics cannot seem to lose momentum. Two new political movements have recently emerged out of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Now, the Republican People's Party (CHP), which just held its 37th Congress, faces the same possibility.